Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Economics of Development, Environment, and Climate
Externally Hosted Work
Last updated November 16, 2023
Jun Rentschler is a Senior Economist at the Office of the Chief Economist for Sustainable Development, working at the intersection of climate change and sustainable resilient development. Prior to joining The World Bank in 2012, he served as an Economic Adviser at the German Foreign Ministry. He also spent two years at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) working on private sector investment projects in resource efficiency and climate change. Before that he worked on projects with Grameen Microfinance Bank in Bangladesh and the Partners for Financial Stability Program by USAID in Poland. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, following previous affiliations with the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Jun holds a PhD in Economics from University College London (UCL), specializing in development, climate, and energy.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 10 of 32
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09) Rentschler, Jun ; Kim, Ella ; Thies, Stephan ; De Vries Robbe, Sophie ; Erman, Alvina ; Hallegatte, StéphaneThis study explores how businesses in Tanzania are impacted by floods, and which strategies they use to cope and adapt. These insights are based on firm survey data collected in 2018 using a tailored questionnaire, covering a sample of more than 800 firms. To assess the impact of disasters on businesses, the study considers direct damages and indirect effects through infrastructure systems, supply chains, and workers. While direct on-site damages from flooding can be substantial, they tend to affect a relatively small share of firms. Indirect impacts of floods are more prevalent and sizable. Flood-induced infrastructure disruptions—especially electricity and transport—obstruct the operations of firms even when they are not directly located in flood zones. The effects of such disruptions are further propagated and multiplied along supply chains. The study estimates that supply chain multipliers are responsible for 30 to 50 percent of all flood-related delivery delays. To cope with these impacts, firms apply a variety of strategies. Firms mitigate supply disruptions by adjusting the size and geographical reach of their supply networks, and by adjusting inventory holdings. By investing in costly backup capacity (such as water tanks and electricity generators), firms mitigate the impact of infrastructure disruptions. The study estimates that only 13 percent of firms receive government support in the aftermath of floods.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01-17) Balseca, Esteban ; Cuesta, Jose Antonio ; Damania, Richard ; Feng, Shenghui ; Moon, Jisung ; Rentschler, Jun ; Russ, Jason ; Triyana, Margaret ; Balseca, EstebanThe world has witnessed unparalleled economic progress in the last three decades. But success is not preordained, and several headwinds threaten this hard fought progress. Inequality is leaving many people and subgroups behind and excluding them from enjoying the benefits of this great economic expansion. More recently, the world has awakened to the reality of a new type of risk. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) struck at a time when the world was healthier and wealthier than ever before. There is little disagreement over the need to enable a recovery that is fairer, safer, and more sustainable. This report describes how these ambitious objectives can be achieved by providing evidence based tools and information to guide countries to spend better and improve policies. It is in this context that this document presents policy guidance to identify and diagnose key development challenges and develop solutions to help countries build better.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01) Rentschler, Jun ; Hosoe, NobuhiroThis study develops a computable general equilibrium model for Nigeria, which accounts for informality, tax evasion, and fuel smuggling. By studying the impact of fuel subsidy reform on consumption, tax incidence, and fiscal efficiency, it shows that the presence of illicit activities substantially strengthens the argument in favour of subsidy reform: First, fuel subsidy reform can shift the tax base to energy goods, which are less prone to tax evasion losses than for instance labour. Second, by reducing price differentials with neighbouring countries, subsidy reform reduces incentives for fuel smuggling. Overall, the results show that considering illicit activities reduces the welfare losses of fuel subsidy reform by at least 40 percent. In addition, fuel subsidy reductions (and by extension energy tax increases) have a strong progressive distributional impact. The findings hold under different revenue redistribution mechanisms, in particular uniform cash transfers and the reduction of pre-existing labour taxes.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) Rentschler, Jun ; Leonova, NadiaAir pollution is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, especially affecting poorer people who tend to be more exposed and vulnerable. This study contributes (i) updated global exposure estimates for the World Health Organizations's 2021 revised fine particulate matter (PM2.5) thresholds, and (ii) estimates of the number of poor people exposed to unsafe PM2.5 concentrations. It shows that 7.28 billion people, or 94 percent of the world population, are directly exposed to unsafe average annual PM2.5 concentrations. Low- and middle-income countries account for 80 percent of people exposed to unsafe PM2.5 levels. Moreover, 716 million poor people (living on less than $1.90 per day) live in areas with unsafe air pollution. Around half of them are located in just three countries: India, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Air pollution levels are particularly high in lower-middle-income countries, where economies tend to rely more heavily on polluting industries and technologies. The findings are based on high-resolution air pollution and population maps with global coverage, as well as subnational poverty estimates based on harmonized household surveys.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-09) Rentschler, Jun E.This paper investigates the adverse effects of oil price volatility on economic activity and the extent to which countries can hedge against such effects by using renewable energy. By considering the Realized Volatility of oil prices, rather than following the standard approach of considering oil price shocks in levels, the effects of factor price uncertainty on economic activity are analyzed. Sample countries represent developed and developing, oil importing and exporting and service/industry-based economies (United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea, India, and Malaysia) and thus complement the standard literature's analysis of Western OECD countries. In a vector auto-regressive setting, Granger causality tests, impulse response functions, and variance decompositions show that oil price volatility has more-adverse effects in all sample countries than oil price shocks alone can explain. The paper finds that the sensitivity to oil price volatility varies widely across countries and discusses various factors which may determine the level of sensitivity (such as sectoral composition and the energy mix). This implies that the standard approach of solely considering net oil importer-exporter status is not sufficient. Simulations of volatility shocks in hypothetical energy mixes (with increased renewable shares) illustrate the potential economic benefits resulting from efforts to disconnect the macroeconomy from volatile commodity markets. It is concluded that expanding renewable energy can in principle reduce an economy's vulnerability to oil price volatility, but a country-specific analysis would be necessary to identify concrete policy measures. Overall, the paper provides an additional rationale for reducing exposure and vulnerability to oil price volatility for the sake of economic growth.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Rentschler, Jun E.This paper presents empirical evidence of the profound and long-term damages from adverse natural events on poverty. It analyzes 30 years of macro-level damage data from disasters (including earthquakes, floods, and storms), according to income groups, and shows that low-income countries incur disproportionately large damages relative to their assets. Furthermore, the paper reviews the micro-level evidence of disaster impacts on the livelihoods of the poorest households. The evidence suggests that the poor are significantly more vulnerable and exposed to the economic and human capital losses caused by disasters. It discusses detrimental long-term consequences for the income and welfare of the poor and the presence of poverty traps that result from damages to productive assets, health, and education. The roles of migration and ex-ante behavior are also discussed. In the context of climate change, the paper underscores the importance of considering the detrimental impacts of smaller but repeated crises, for instance caused by changes in local precipitation patterns. Lastly, the paper offers a brief discussion of policy options for strengthening resilience and highlights the need for further research for understanding the complex direct and indirect effects of disasters on the poor.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Nicolas, Claire ; Rentschler, Jun ; Potter van Loon, Albertine ; Oguah, Sam ; Schweikert, Amy ; Deinert, Mark ; Koks, Elco ; Arderne, Christopher ; Cubas, Diana ; Li, Jie ; Ichikawa, ErikoThe power sector is both highly vulnerable to natural hazards and a priority for any country'srecovery and reconstruction. After Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017, most of the power gridwas down. One year and tens of billions of dollars later some customers were yet to be reconnected to the main grid. This type of long and widespread power outage has major consequences on people's health and well-being, for instance through lacking access to refrigeration for food and medicine, and on the ability of firms to produce and provide people with goods, services, jobs, and income. In most countries, the power system is designed to cope with high-frequency but relatively low impact events. Low-frequency, high-impact events – such as many natural disasters – are rarely considered fully, and the implementation of planned management measures is often patchy. Furthermore, the power system is a special kind of infrastructure due to the heterogeneity of the generation assets and its wide spatial distribution. The latter means that power systems are often exposed to natural hazards and sometimes to more than one hazard, leading to high repair costs when disasters strike. This paper, prepared as a sectoral note for the Lifelines report on infrastructure resilience, investigates the vulnerability of the power system to natural hazards and climate change, and provides recommendations to increase its resilience. It first describes how power outages are often the consequence of natural disasters and outlines the main vulnerabilities of the power sector. It then proposes a range of approaches and solutions for building a more resilient power sector – from increased robustness to greater flexibility – showing that the additional cost of resilience is not high if resources are well spent. Finally, it describes how emergency preparedness and disaster recovery encompass not only technical aspects, like asset strengthening or criticality analysis, but also "softer" skills, like governance, regulatory or capacity building, and education.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09-18) Hallegatte, Stephane ; Rentschler, JunGovernments now have access to a large and growing range of financing instruments for rapidlymobilizing funds in the aftermath of a disaster. Instruments like reserve funds, contingent linesof credit, and insurance programs are critical for financing relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts, and they have a demonstrated impact on the ability of governments to manage large-scale disasters. The availability of financial resources however, is only half of the story. The capacity of a government to support post-disaster recovery and reconstruction depends substantially on its ability to deliver these resources effectively to where they are needed. Doingso requires that governments are prepared before a disaster hits, with the right instruments, institutions, and capacities in place. By preparing contingency plans, defining responsibilities, adopting appropriate regulations and norms, enhancing financial inclusion and insurance regulations, and establishing flexible and gender-inclusive social protection systems, governments could improve the reconstruction process and generate over 173 billion dollars per year inbenefits. There are major synergies between the financial instruments that make the resources available and the systems that deliver these resources where they are needed. In the next few years, the design and implementation of new financial instruments will offer an unprecedented opportunity to improve the last-mile delivery of post-disaster support. This opportunity should not be missed.
Publication(Washington, DC : World Bank, 2023-06-15) Damania, Richard ; Balseca, Esteban ; de Fontaubert, Charlotte ; Gill, Joshua ; Kim, Kichan ; Rentschler, Jun ; Russ, Jason ; Zaveri, EshaClean air, land, and oceans are critical for human health and nutrition and underpin much of the world’s economy. Yet they suffer from degradation, poor management, and overuse due to government subsidies. "Detox Development: Repurposing Environmentally Harmful Subsidies" examines the impact of subsidies on these foundational natural assets. Explicit and implicit subsidies—estimated to exceed US$7 trillion per year—not only promote inefficiencies but also cause much environmental harm. Poor air quality is responsible for approximately 1 in 5 deaths globally. And as the new analyses in this report show, a significant number of these deaths can be attributed to fossil fuel subsidies. Agriculture is the largest user of land worldwide, feeding the world and employing 1 billion people, including 78 percent of the world’s poor. But it is subsidized in ways that promote inefficiency, inequity, and unsustainability. Subsidies are shown to drive the deterioration of water quality and increase water scarcity by incentivizing overextraction. In addition, they are responsible for 14 percent of annual deforestation, incentivizing the production of crops that are cultivated near forests. These subsidies are also implicated in the spread of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, especially malaria. Finally, oceans support the world’s fisheries and supply about 3 billion people with almost 20 percent of their protein intake from animals. Yet they are in a collective state of crisis, with more than 34 percent of fisheries overfished, exacerbated by open-access regimes and capacity-increasing subsidies. Although the literature on subsidies is large, this report fills significant knowledge gaps using new data and methods. In doing so, it enhances understanding of the scale and impact of subsidies and offers solutions to reform or repurpose them in efficient and equitable ways. The aim is to enhance understanding of the magnitude, consequences, and drivers of policy successes and failures in order to render reforms more achievable.
Coastal Development between Opportunity and Disaster Risk: A Multisectoral Risk Assessment for Vietnam(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-08) Braese, Johannes ; De Vries Robbe, Sophie Anne ; Rentschler, JunThis paper presents a multisectoral risk assessment, analyzing natural risks faced by key drivers of socioeconomic development in coastal Vietnam. The analysis quantifies the exposure of assets and economic activity to the following natural hazards: riverine flooding, coastal flooding, typhoon winds, coastal erosion, and saline intrusion. These hazards are analyzed according to their impact on agricultural production, aquaculture, human settlements, industrial zones, tourism, health care facilities, schools, and the electricity transmission network. Overall, the results show the complex nature of natural risk in Vietnam, with significant exposure of key economic sectors, public services and assets. The estimates suggest that exposure varies greatly between hazards, sectors, and provinces. This paper provides detailed technical descriptions of the methodologies, data sources, and analytical assumptions employed to obtain the estimates, and acts as a technical background paper to Resilient Shores: Vietnam's Coastal Development between Opportunity and Disaster Risk (Rentschler et al., 2020).